Let me write you, the reader, something memorable. Let me tell you about the times when my life had changed drastically. Let me preach to you the highlights of the MYSO 2017 tour.
Physically getting to Argentina was a jungle full of layovers and delays, but we got there in one piece and then went on to play a concert four hours away. The majority of the first week was the United group complaining and the American Airlines group rejoicing. The adventures of the United group would carry on (unlike the instruments on the trip back) as the star inside joke of the tour.
Having fabulous dinners every night with the musicians that I have grown to call my family puts the jewels on the tour crown. We all worked countless hours to prepare this music, we all poured our heart and soul into every note we played, and we all connected with every down beat. The bond between all of us was only strengthened with every passing day. Over the course of the tour I’ve met so many different personalities . . . new people within our chaperone group who I had never really know, or dancing tango with someone I had never met. All of those personalities came together to form this group that I would never regret being a part of.
The people behind the musicians, the administrative staff back home that worked over computers and paperwork to give us this opportunity to perform deserve all of the thanks the world can give. Our meals were consistently delicious and our buses were comfortable (but cold). We also have to thank our music director Margery Deutsch for putting up with us during rehearsals and our endless comments about her gaucho boyfriend that she met on the ranch. She brought the music to life by always smiling and dancing to give us that energy four hours of sleep didn’t provide. I look forward to working with her in Senior Symphony this coming season.
The two days walking around La Boca and the Recoleta Cemetery were ones of eye openers. I gained an exponential amount of cultural knowledge through walking the streets of an iconically colorful neighborhood. Learning the history of the tango and the history of the influential people have opened my eyes to a new place so different from, yet so alike the United States.
Believe it or not, I was awake for some of our bus rides. Traveling around the city was like looking into another dimension. Seeing the north and south of Buenos Aires led me to fall in love with the city. Every four small streets there’s a big avenue, commonly accompanied by a small or large green space filled with amazing dog walkers. What I found interesting about the city is that there were old magnificent mansions right next to homes falling apart with caving roofs and peeling paint. It was refreshing to see both sides of the city and how they interact with each other.
The group bonding sessions like the tango and salsa lessons as well as the final dinner and dance were possibly the most memorable of the tour. I’ve met life long friends that I didn’t even know existed before this experience. Together we have laughed and made new memories that will eventually become cloudy but they will never fade. I hope I stay in touch with the amazing people I’ve met who graduated this year, but I know that even if I don’t, I’ll always look up to them. We’ve had amazing musicians come and go through MYSO, and that will never change.
The trip back really taught me how to deal with stress. On the domestic flight to Chicago, the airline had to check the violins and violas under the plane, which gave everyone a massive migraine. With every turbulent bump, all of us had a miniature heart attack. The international flight was much better, for me at least, the girl sitting next to me was a student at one of the universities in Buenos Aires. We had a long conversation about music and performance, because she and I share the same passion for drums and Russian composers. The people of Argentina and Uruguay will never cease to amaze me with their standing ovations and love of music.
With that, I leave you with one last thing said by our amazing soloist, Julian Rhee…